Ah, the old, outdated, and somewhat bulky smartphone/tablet. Everyone has one collecting dust in a dresser drawer somewhere. However, not everyone realizes their potential. Below are a few ideas that may give new life to old smartphones and tablets.
Sell It. This is perhaps the most straightforward. If you do not need a spare phone and plan on throwing it out, try listing the phone on an auction site or local listings. Even broken, outdated phones and tablets can go for over twenty dollars online. Phone and tablet repairmen often buy them for parts for their current and future repairs. Alternatively, you can hold onto the phone and see if it is worth anything down the road. Most likely it will not be, but you never know. I have a feeling that the palm phone may, as it was the last of its kind. If your phone is not the last (or first) of its kind, sell it now. At most it will only be an interesting conversation piece twenty years from now.
Hack It. Old phones and tablets will eventually lose their capability to download new apps and music. When this happens you can only enjoy the same old apps you have already installed on your phone. For most this is not a good option. Instead of tossing a phone unable to install new apps, try installing a version of Linux to re-extend the phone’s outdated capabilities. Programmers and DIYers will especially enjoy hacking the phone. Linux is open source and can be modified by users and third parties. Die hard Apple fans may find this new freedom refreshing.
Use It as a Paperweight. Hey, your outdated phone or tablet is bulky, right? It is also incapable of installing new apps and music. Why not use it as a paperweight that can play your old favorites whenever you feel?
Use It as a Spare. Screens crack, software crashes, and phones break. Keeping a backup smartphone will ensure that you will never be without a phone with internet capabilities if your new phone should break. Be sure to keep it in a safe spot where you cannot lose it!
Use It for Surfing. Even old tablets and smartphones have WIFI capabilities! This makes outdated tablets and phones perfect for use while traveling. If you should lose it, you will only be out thirty or so dollars. You also have access to games and music when said surfing gets old!
The above ideas should give new life to your old phone or tablet. Whether turning an Apple product open-source by utilizing Linux or selling an old tablet for a few dollars, you should be able to put your old phone to good use now or down the road. Remember, do not throw it out! Even cheap flip phones can be put to use down the road. By re-using your phone you are also keeping e-waste out of garbage dumps around the world, and are helping the environment. Feel good about your reuse!